Zing Info #3!February 20, 2007
It’s the third week on our long trip toward the completion of this little project…
The legacy of a hero is an important aspect of the Ideal Comics universe. We have numerous heroes who have passed on the mantle to younger versions. Sometimes, the next generation isn’t known by the original at all, much like in the story I’ll be talking about in a second, Mastermind.
First, let’s talk about Night Terror…
Night Terror was a Golden Age hero, who decided to hang the cape up in order to focus on his family. This was all well and good. His partner continued the fight, but for Night Terror, it was over. At least for a while.
A few decades later, another Night Terror shows up on the scene. This Night Terror is the character that the story Mastermind is about.
As with all of the stories in the book, “Mastermind” was written with the intention of showing the mindset of a particular period in the Ideal Comics mythos. “The Origin of Al Djinn” is about the hopeful optimism of the Golden Age. A Lesson in Life is about the confusion that came about when the second generation of heroes took over. Mastermind is about the darkest period in Ideal Comics history, when the lines between a hero and villain were a little blurred. Anti-heroes ran rampant and got the job done, even if their techniques were a little less than orthodox.
The second Night Terror is such a character.
In terms of motives, techniques and designs, he is the exact opposite of the Night Terror from the forties. But the goals of the two were the same — to stop crime.
Of course, Night Terror II’s methods might be construed as almost madness, but you’ll have to make that call.
It’s an interesting concept and kind of a different view on the state of modern comics. DC tried to do something like this back in ’93, with the whole broken-back Batman (with wheelchair action) and the whole Azreal thing. Of course, DC never intended for Jean-Paul Valley to remain Batman, they did it to reestablish the strength and concept of the Bat-mantle.
But Night Terror was different. Rhys created both characters and when we were throwing around ideas for the 80s-part of our universe, he brought up the idea of a second Night Terror. He told me that he wanted to make him an ultra-violent, hardcore shadow of the former. He said that he wanted Night Terror to reflect the Watchmen era. I loved it.
When we set out to create the history of the universe, one of the things we had wanted to do was mirror the different decades in comics. The forties in Escher’s World, is the forties that comic books from that era portrayed. It’s filled with patriotism and a belief in a truth, justice and the American way!
Following that concept, we couldn’t help but fill the eighties of our universe with dark, brooding characters. Each of our characters in that particular era are haunted by ghosts of the past and driven to extremes in the name of justice.
Night Terror displays that perfectly.
The story itself is incidental. It’s a moment in time for this character, as he investigates a most heinous crime.
In truth, the story is really designed to show the reader, that’s you, what we had in mind when we created this character. I think it achieves that.
Remember, you can discuss this and the other great stories I’ve talked about in our Forums.